Harnessing the Power of Information

Harnessing the Power of Information

Information. In today’s workplace you have an abundance of information. However, information is a double-edged sword and can be overwhelming. When you know what it means to your business though, it’s a goldmine. How do you harness it for your business?

In a world of too much information, quantify it.
As author Douglas Coupland aptly describes, “When the world throws you too much information, the only way to stay sane or survive is to look for pattern recognition.” Technology helps you identify these patterns. The right computer software connects the dots and shows you the patterns that matter to your business.

Harness information to help you make smart decisions.
70% of enterprise organizations and 56% of small and medium sized businesses are deploying projects and software to capture the huge amounts of data now available to your business (IDG Enterprise, Big Data: Growing Trends and Emerging Opportunities, January 6, 2014). It’s evident that this explosion of data is upon us and will only continue to grow. Navigating these changes requires organizations to adapt to these new competitive realities or be left behind.

The Right Software = A Better Customer Experience
The information at your fingertips analyzed using the right software allows you to realize cost efficiencies, improve logistics and creates actionable data for supply chain improvements. Ultimately though, the right software creates a better customer experience and differentiates you from the competition.

Think personally about your experiences as a consumer. Every time I need something, I remember a company I’ve dealt with for a long time. They make it simple to find the exact product I need and it ships exactly when they said it would. As a result, I buy from them, again and again. Once, I inquired about how they achieved this and it was explained very matter-of-factly, “we just have good information from our software system and we use it.”

Determining the right software for you
Some businesses are looking only for inventory management, while others are looking for solutions that include many other features— accounting, project management, estimating, supply chain management and business intelligence. To determine what level of software your business needs, examine your current system and identify where information gets lost and where the biggest inconsistencies are. Then move one level up the chain from that information and that is the place where you need to refine your information and technology. In this industry that often means it’s time to finally upgrade that software you started using in the 80’s or 90’s.

Actionable Data – that is the KEY!
Software, when used and managed the right way, can minimize the unknown and replace it with the right information, allowing you to be proactive. Now stop and ask yourself, “does my software give me the information I need to make smart decisions for my business”?

This article originally appeared in National Hardwood Magazine in September, 2014.